ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. (Aug. 4, 2019) – Luck wasn’t on the side of Corvette Racing on Sunday as the team logged fourth- and sixth-place finishes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Road Race Showcase at Road America.
Both Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs led the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category and were in contention for the program’s 100thh victory in IMSA competition. Ultimately, however, the race and fortune went against Corvette Racing as it went for an eighth class victory at the circuit.
Antonio García and Jan Magnussen posted Corvette Racing’s best finish in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R with race pole-winner Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner two spots behind in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R. The team will regroup and prep for a GT-only race August 25 at Virginia International Raceway.
Early on, Corvette Racing engineers decided to split strategies between the two cars with Garcia and Magnussen on a three-stop strategy. Magnussen began fifth but was the second GTLM car to pit just 25 minutes into the race. He held position throughout his stint and handed over to Garcia, who reemerged seventh.
Meanwhile, Gavin led the first 40 minutes and set the fastest lap of the race. He came in from second after 44 minutes with Milner driving the rest of the way. He stopped with 62 minutes left and the No. 4 side of the pit lane hoping for a full-course caution that never came. A stop with five minutes left knocked the No. 4 Corvette from second to sixth.
Meanwhile, García stopped with just shy of 90 minutes to go for his second stop and pushed his way back to the lead with 50 minutes remaining. A cruel twist of fate awaited as the No. 3 developed an electrical issue that forced the Corvette crew to perform a battery replacement on Garcia’s final stop with 32 minutes left.
Corvette Racing’s next event is August 25 at Virginia International Raceway.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM: “It would have been close to a win at the end. Even going green it would have been close with the 67. We could have made them push and work instead of cruise to a win. We had a decent strategy, I have to say. We committed early to that and basically things were going well until our battery problem. I don’t know how many extra seconds that cost us, so that wasn’t ideal. I lost more time – six or seven seconds – on my in-lap from prototypes running me off the track on old tires. But in the end we had the right strategy. If there had been one yellow in the end, I don’t think the Ford would have had anything for us. We were so good and had 10 laps better tires than anyone else. At the end of the day, we executed well and did what we had to do. It’s tough to say ‘what if’ but this is tough. We are chasing victory hard, and sometimes it’s too hard. We had a car to win today. Congrats to Richard (Westbrook) and Ryan (Briscoe); they ran a perfect race so full credit to them.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM: “It was a pretty decent start. I was stuck behind one of the Fords that was stuck behind one of the Porsches; they didn’t have the pace of Gavin and the 67 Ford up front. So they started to gap us a bit. I couldn’t find a way by the 66, which is a shame because we were quite a bit faster than those guys and we maybe could have done something different than what we did. Later on, Antonio was doing fantastic until we had an issue that needed to be fixed in the pits, which kept us in too long. It’s a real shame. We had the strategy to do something good; it was an aggressive strategy but without the problems I think we could have been fighting for the win. It’s tough but on to the next one.”